Job Interview Question
What are your least favorite things to do in your role as a XXXX?This is a slightly different version of, “What did you dislike about your previous job?”
They are trying to find out more about you and how you think. If you are transferring roles in more of a lateral move, your answer will tell them about how you will perform in this new job. If you’re making a move up the career ladder, there’s not such a direct correlation, but it will still shed light on you, your performance, and even on how much you understand about this new role.
If you choose an answer that happens to be a central component of this job’s responsibilities, you’ve just shot yourself in the foot. You haven’t done your research, and you clearly don’t understand the job.
Make sure you understand the role and choose a ‘least favorite thing’ that will be only a minor, insignificant component of your task list for this new job.
Another option is to try to choose an answer that anyone would choose. That’s an easy way to build rapport and avoid making a mistake with your answer. For instance, a common answer to this question for those in management roles is “I hate firing people.” No one likes to deliver that kind of bad news. But be sure to say that even though you dislike it, you do it when necessary.
Some answers that I might personally give are:
“I really dislike dealing with failings…even though I always say that failure can be helpful, I still don’t enjoy it. I don’t like dealing with employees who are failing, a project that’s failing, or a situation that’s failing. Because I hate it so much, I do everything I can to plan and avoid potential problems in the first place. But I understand that some things can’t be avoided, and I do enjoy the feeling that I get when we’re able to turn around a bad situation into something positive.”
“I don’t enjoy paperwork. I enjoy doing things that are going to have a positive impact on my results and performance, but I don’t enjoy the monotonous details that are necessary to make that happen in some of those tasks. But I also understand that even if I don’t like them, they have to be done. They fall under my job responsibilities. And I’m very driven to make that progress happen, whatever it takes.”
As in answering all job interview questions, be strategic when answering this one. Think about the bigger picture of how you’re selling yourself for the job and stay focused on the positive.
Both of these answers are honest, non-cookie-cutter answers that, even though they’re answering a negative question, bring the conversation immediately back around to a positive statement about what I will bring to the job.
If you’d like to practice your interview answers with professional feedback, or you need help with specific answers, I’d love to work with you as your interview coach.